The College of Communications at most universities are for journalists, advertisers and film makers. They’re all people wanting to communicate TO you.
You can take English to learn how to write. It’s important to be able to express your thoughts TO your readers.
So is it any wonder that, when many people hear the term “communication”, they think about getting their message out?
Yet communication is a two-way process. Where do you learn how to listen?
At BIGG Success, of course! Today, we’ll share 7 tips to listen better for your BIGG success:
Hear George & Mary-Lynn share these 7 tips on The BIGG Success Show podcast. Click a player to listen.
iPhone/iPad Podcast Player
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Think effectiveness, not efficiency
Communication can never be efficient if it’s not effective. Important conversations deserve your complete attention.
Conversations occur between people. People are important. So every conversation is an important one.
So take a deep breath and relax a little before you begin a conversation.
If you simply know you don’t have time, just say so. It’s better to push off a conversation to a time when you can give it the attention it deserves.
Put away the distractions
Yes, we’re talking about your mobile device. Sorry to tell you this, but you can’t truly listen and text or search at the same time. At least we can’t.
But it’s not just mobile devices. You may have been working on something. It’s right there…right in front of you. You’re deep into it when someone approaches you to talk.
Acknowledge them. If you know you can find a stopping point, let them know it will be a few seconds, or a minute, or whatever you think.
If they can’t wait or you know it will be a while, see if you can agree to a later time.
But when you talk with them, physically set everything else aside so you can give them your undivided attention.
By the way, this is just as true for phone calls as it is in the flesh.
Stop the voices in your head
Do you ever form your response while the other person is talking? If you do, you’re human. If you do, you’re like us.
Stop it! Listen.
Force yourself to do it. It will be uncomfortable at first but eventually it will become a habit.
The sound of silence
We cringe at moments of silence [insert pause here]. But they’re not bad. [insert another pause here].
In fact, if you stop the voices in your head, you’ll need moments of silence. They’re the time to formulate your response.
By giving your brain time to process what you’ve heard, you’ll communicate more effectively and efficiently.
Be sincerely interested
Listening requires you to be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying. If you aren’t sincerely interested, and depending on the situation, you have at least three choices:
- End the conversation
Hey, that’s not nice. But it’s nicer than feigning interest.
Because what do you do when your spouse…oops, we mean the person you’re talking with…ends their thought with a question?
Suddenly, the blood rushes to your head. Your heart starts beating faster. Your head is spinning…what are you going to do?
They’ll know you weren’t listening. Oh no!
- Change the topic
A better choice may be to change the topic. Introduce something you are interested in or that’s more relevant. But look for cues about whether the person you’re talking with is interested as well.
- Find a way to make it interesting
Listen is a verb. It implies action. So take action.
Inquire about something they said. Sometimes a conversation is much more interesting when you get below the surface.
Talk is cheap
Or so they say. And maybe they’re right.
Talk is an incredibly small part of communication.
Look for non-verbal cues. What do they convey?
Just make sure you don’t get so busy checking for non-verbal cues that you forget to maintain eye contact. If you do that with the wrong person, you may get slapped!
Understanding the importance of understanding
As an entrepreneurial leader, you must become a great communicator, if you aren’t already. It’s more important than ever in business today.
Dialog can occur without communication. Communication occurs at the point of understanding. When all the parties involved understand each other’s point-of-view, communication has occurred. It leads to BIGG success!
Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
Image in this post from Murielle